Fixing a Green Swimming Pool

Every year halfway through the summer, pool maintenance gets really tough, and by the time August rolls around the pool is green, I'm exhausted, and we have the pool closed down because I just can't deal with it any longer. This year I did everything I could to keep the pool clear:

  • Checking chemicals daily and adjusting as necessary
  • Vacuuming any time piles of collect on the bottom of the pool (which has been daily!)
  • Thoroughly brushing almost every day

Despite this epic labor the pool continued to have a layer of green on the bottom every morning. Along the way I discovered three things that I am confident will make next year a breeze.

  1. Clean the pool pump impeller once in a while, maybe every month or two (behind the pump filter basket is the pump impeller, which was jammed with pine needles)
  2. This isn't directly related to the green pool, but I discovered that the all-important weir has always been missing from the pool skimmer. Replacing that was easy enough and it means that the pool will skim properly.
  3. I got a pool robot. There are lots of benefits, it handles brushing and vacuuming, and also it is an entirely separate system from the pump, so even if the other equipment is failing you have the robot to take care of business.
  4. Finally, I discovered that I needed to replace the sand in the sand filter. When I got into the sand filter, it was filled with thick nasty murky green water, yuk! Definitely the source of my woes. I think the key here is the sight glass. When backwashing, I recall being told to let it backwash until the sight glass looks clear. I know that lately it never looked clear. Now I realize: that is a problem. And hopefully by replacing the sand every few years, and backwashing until the sight glass is clear, I can avoid ever dealing with this problem again. Of course this time I used a small plastic cup to remove 300 pounds of sand, and eventually vaguely remembered that I previously used the wet/dry vac. Things to remember for next time!

And wouldn't you know it? After an entire summer of battling with getting the pool clean, only twelve hours after replacing the sand in the filter the pool is almost crystal clear. Son of a gun! I always gotta learn the hard way.

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